Friday Dragon wrap: Baseball, softball win HHC titles
May 19, 2012By Andrew Smith of New Palestine High School
New Palestine sweeps Rushville: The Dragons used two big innings to beat Rushville 17-5 in the opening game of their doubleheader. NP then scored three runs each in the sixth and seventh innings to beat the Lions 8-1 in the nightcap and clinch a piece of their ninth consecutive HHC championship.
In the opener, the Dragons briefly trailed 3-0 after Rushville scored three unearned runs in the third. But NP answered with five -- all unearned -- in the bottom of the inning and then put together a mammoth 18-batter, 11-hit, 12-run fourth to take a 17-3 lead and set things up to finish early.
The third began when Alex Rejer had a one-out hit and Ryan Evans reached on an error. Nick Ulrey's RBI groundout scored Rejer, Brian Page followed with an RBI single. After another error, Reid Clark had a run-scoring single to tie the game and Connor Swain a two-run double to make it a 5-3 contest.
Things broke open in the fourth. Alec Shull and Rejer led off with hits and Evans walked to load the bases. Ulrey and Page followed with an RBI single and RBI groundout to make it 7-3. Barnes followed with a single, which began the merry-go-round. Reid Clark (twice), Cameron Clark, Rejer, Stephen Ochs, Page and Barnes all followed with RBI hits as the Dragons put together their biggest inning and highest-scoring game of the year.
Page threw a complete game, allowing six hits and two earned runs to improve to 6-0 on the year. He fanned seven.
Reid Clark was 3-for-4 with two runs and three RBI. Page was 2-for-4 with three runs and three RBI. Rejer was 3-for-3 with a double, three runs and two RBI. Evans reached three times and scored all three. Barnes had two hits, two runs and an RBI. Ulrey and Swain had two RBI each, pacing a 15-hit attack. All of the Dragons' offense came in the third and fourth innings.
In the nightcap, the Dragons won 8-1, breaking open a pitcher's duel between Reid Clark and Rushville's Mike Busald in the last two innings.
NP never trailed, taking a 2-0 lead after the first two batters were retired in the top of the first. Barnes had a two-out single and scored when Reid Clark reached on an error. Swain drove Clark home with a base hit to right. Rushville answered in the bottom of the inning with Jason Riddell's infield hit and Mitch Gosnell's run-scoring double. The run was unearned due to a throwing error that allowed Riddell to get into scoring position. Reid Clark threw a shutout the rest of the way to improve his personal record to 5-2.
After giving up those two hits, Rushville managed just one more off him -- another infield hit in the seventh. The Lions had baserunners in each inning, but never got one past second base after the first. Clark struck out eight and allowed five walks in a complete-game victory.
NP was sent down just as quietly by Busald for the next four innings, as he faced the minimum. His defense erased NP's only two baserunners during that time with doubleplays.
Things finally broke open in the sixth, thanks two two errors and a hit batsman that loaded the bases. Swain's two-run single made it a 4-1 game, and Cameron Clark followed with an RBI hit to add another run. In the seventh, NP added three more on back-to-back hits from Ulrey and Page and a two-run triple by Reid Clark. Swain's sacrifice fly plated Clark with the eighth run.
Swain was 2-for-2 with four RBI -- he also had a sacrifice bunt and sacrifice fly. He was the only Dragon to have multiple hits in a seven-hit attack -- Ulrey, Page, Barnes, Reid Clark and Cameron Clark all had one each. Reid Clark scored three times for NP and drove in two.
The Dragons also honored their senior class of Barnes, Reid Clark, Ryan Evans, Stephen Ochs, Page, Rejer and Shull before the game.
NP is now 21-5 and finishes HHC play with a 12-2 record.The Dragons close regular-season play Monday at Fishers.
New Palestine 14, Delta 0: The Dragons won their third HHC title in four years, sharing it with Pendleton Heights and Mt. Vernon, with a rout of the Eagles.
Lizzie Garrison threw a three-hit, five-inning shutout. Adie Lorsung hit her third homer of the season. Megan Prosser was 4-for-4 with three RBI. Erin Lehman hit a bases-loaded triple and had four RBI. NP celebrated its seven seniors -- Kyleigh Smock, Liza Fiers, Alexa Cavin, Rachel Vawter, Julie Moore, Audrey East and Clare Myers. Cavin started all 119 games of her career at shortstop.,
NP finishes the regular season 21-6 and 6-1 in the HHC. The Dragons open sectional play Wednesday at Center Grove against Franklin. First pitch is approximately 7 p.m.
Mt. Vernon 3, New Palestine 2: The Marauders nosed out the Dragons to win the sectional title.
MV got wins from No. 1 singles Clara Ruegsegger, No. 3 singles Kelsi Tammen and No. 2 doubles Ellen Wuerch/Rachel Kammerer. NP's victories came from Jen Roberts at No. 2 singles and the No. 1 doubles team of Emily Moeller/Michaela Hurd.
MV will advance to Tuesday's North Central regional. Moeller and Hurd will face Greenfield-Central's Taylor Brand/Kyla Leary in the individual tournament, also at North Central.